Ohio Bobcats football
|Ohio Bobcats football|
|Athletic director||Jim Schaus|
|Head coach||Frank Solich
11th year, 80–61 (.567)
|Field surface||Field Turf|
|NCAA division||NCAA Division I (FBS)|
|All-time record||532–535–48 (.499)|
|Bowl record||2–7 (.222)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||1 (College Division)|
|Fight song||"Stand Up and Cheer"|
|Mascot||Rufus the Bobcat|
|Marching band||The Ohio University Marching 110|
The Ohio Bobcats football team is an intercollegiate varsity sports program of Ohio University. The team represents the university as a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), playing at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. The Bobcats have played their home games in Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio since 1929.
Ohio Bobcats football began in 1894 with an 8–0 loss to Marietta College. Since that day, the Bobcats have posted a 532–534–48 record over their 120-year existence and a 215–248–11 record over their 68 years in MAC games. The Bobcats have won five MAC championships, in 1953, 1960, 1963, 1967, and 1968, and three MAC East Division championships, in 2006, 2009 and 2011. Prior to joining the MAC, the Bobcats won six Buckeye Athletic Association championships, in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1938. In 1960, the Bobcats were crowned National Small College Champions after compiling a 10–0 record under Bill Hess. The Bobcats have appeared in six bowl games, losing 15–14 to West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl, losing 49–42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, falling 28–7 to Southern Mississippi in the 2007 GMAC Bowl, losing 21–17 to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, and a defeat at the hands of Troy in the 2010 New Orleans Bowl. Ohio won their first bowl game on December 17, 2011 with a 24–23 victory over the Utah State Aggies in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Ohio followed up that bowl win with another in 2012 over Louisiana–Monroe in the 2012 Independence Bowl, by the score 45–14. In 2013, Ohio played in their fifth consecutive bowl game, losing to East Carolina in the 2013 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
- 1 History
- 2 Present coaching staff
- 3 Bobcat football traditions
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Conference championships
- 6 All-time records
- 7 Individual awards and achievements
- 8 Future non-conference opponents
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In 1892, Ohio University became a member of a four-school conference—the Athletic League of Ohio Colleges—which included Otterbein College, Wittenberg University, and Marietta College. A schedule never materialized, however, and the league dissolved before even a single game was played. In preparation, though, a team was formed on Ohio's campus and H.R. Higley was elected captain. He soon began coaching the team, according to the student newspaper, the Panorama. For the first time, the football team was given space in the Athena yearbook in 1892. The entire team was listed, by position and name. The first intercollegiate football game involving an Ohio University team was played in Athens in 1894 against Marietta College. It was the only contest played that year by Ohio, with Marietta winning by a score of 8–0. The next year the Bobcats faced a five-game schedule, under the leadership of coach Harvey Deme. The 1895 squad was 2-3, with wins against Parkersburg High School [abbreviated Parker H.S. in some early records] and Lancaster High School, and losses against Ohio Wesleyan and Marietta College (twice).
From 1896 to 1905, the football program was in a state of flux, with a new coach taking over the reins every year. Injuries and the untimely death of the Ohio University quarterback, on the field, in December 1898, was a sombering event, with severe injuries often taking place in early collegiate football as uniforms of the era provided little physical protection. The coaches during this time period included Frank Remsberg, Warwick Ford, Peter McLaren, Fred Sullivan, Karl Core, Art Jones, Henry Hart, Joseph Railsback, and Harold Monosmith, with Sullivan being coach in both 1899 and 1903. The best records of this time period were forged in 1897 and 1901 under Warwick Ford and Art Jones, respectively. The 'Cats were 7–2 in their 1897 campaign, and posted a 6–1–2 record in 1901.
The 1897 season, which produced the best record of any of the 19th Century campaigns, started with two straight losses—to Marietta College and Cincinnati. The team then reeled off seven straight with victories over Muskingum College, Dennison College, Ohio Medical University, West Virginia University, Otterbein College, and Marietta College. The home victory over WVU inspired a poem that appeared in The Athens Messenger and Herald newspaper:
|“||And they came and they were conquer'd
With swift dispatch and ease,
And they came from fair Virginia
Badly battered left they homeward
Beginning in 1906, the Bobcats began to assert themselves as a more permanent entity on campus with the hiring of Arthur McFarland as head coach. The 1906 squad exploded for a 7–1 record, with wins over respected programs such as West Virginia University and the University of Cincinnati. The program tailed off considerably in 1907, however, and would not post a .500 record until 1911 under coach Arthur Hinaman. The 1911 squad outscored all opponents 88–44, but only managed to post a 3–3–2 record.
Arguably the greatest Ohio team of the early era was Mark Bank's 1915 squad. This storied club posted an 8-1 record and outscored all opponents by a combined 175–33. Beating such teams as the University of Cincinnati, Marshall University, and Transylvania University, the Bobcats' only loss was a 13–6 affair versus archrival Miami University. Following the explosion of the 1915 team, the Bobcats experienced a period of success during the late 1910s. The 1916 team posted a record of 5–2–1, and the 1918 squad went an undefeated 4–0–1, with wins over the Ohio State freshman team and Denison University. In 1920, Russ Finsterwald was hired to lead the 'Cats into a new decade. His tenure, however, was marked by relative mediocrity, with records of 4–3, 4–4–1, and 5–3 in his three years at the helm. F.B. Heldt was named coach in 1923, and posted a record of 3–5–1. His lack of success against challenging opponents lead to a quick dismissal, and ultimately forced the hiring of Bobcat legend Don Peden.
1924–1946: The Peden era
Through its football history, Ohio University has had 28 head coaches. Of these, Don Peden has the longest tenure, 21 seasons. Over that period, he compiled a record of 121 wins, 46 losses and 11 ties. To this day, his .711 winning percentage is by far the best of any Bobcats coach with more than twenty games of competition. As part of Peden's legacy, the Bobcats' present-day stadium (known as Ohio Stadium in Peden's time) now dons the name Peden Stadium.
Peden's tenure began rather unceremoniously in 1924, with a 4–4 record. The next year, however, Peden led the 'Cats to a 6-2 season, and wins over the University of Cincinnati and the University of Toledo. From 1926 to 1928, the Bobcats posted winning records every season, with the 1928 team forging a 6–3 season and a marquee 66–6 victory over the University of Cincinnati.
Peden oversaw one of the Bobcats' best-ever spans—seven seasons from 1929 through 1935—in which Ohio compiled a cumulative record of 49–9–3. In that period, Peden's squads won four Buckeye Athletic Association championships and enjoyed three undefeated seasons. In 1929, the Bobcats moved into brand new Ohio Stadium, and celebrated with a 9-0 record, while giving up just 7 points all season (a lone touchdown to Ohio Wesleyan). The 1935 team upset the University of Illinois in the season opener, 6–0, on its way to a perfect 8–0 season. That year, the Bobcats were led by All-American Art Lewis, a sturdy tackle who was a first-round selection of the New York Giants in the first-ever National Football League draft in 1936. Lewis would go on to become a very successful college coach himself at West Virginia University.
Peden continued his legacy of success following the graduation of Lewis and the other seniors of the 1935 team. He won a Buckeye Athletic Association title in 1936 and another in 1938, with the 1938 team being one of the best under Peden. That team upset the University of Illinois yet again, and also earned victories over Xavier University, Marshall University, and arch-rival Miami University.
The Bobcats would never win another Buckeye Athletic Association title under Peden, though he still led the team through many winning seasons and thrilling victories. His storied 1941 team posted a record of 5–2–1 while outscoring all opponents 108–42. Bobcat football was interrupted by World War II, with Ohio not fielding a team in either the 1943 or 1944 seasons. The 1945 team was 3–4 while struggling to recruit new members after the war and facing a challenging schedule. In his final year as head coach, 1946, Peden steered the Bobcats into the Mid-American Conference as a charter member. Today, the Bobcats are the only team still in the conference from the original 5 team league that included Butler University, the University of Cincinnati, Wayne State University, and Case Western Reserve University. The 1946 squad was 6–3, and posted impressive wins over Western Michigan University and Murray State University.
1947–1957: A decade of change
With the retirement of legendary coach Don Peden in 1946, the Ohio athletics administration knew that it would be challenging to find a worthy successor. The man chosen was Harold Wise, who lasted only two seasons and posted 3–5-1 and 3–6 records. His teams were competitive, but struggled to face the challenging schedule presented by membership in the MAC. His 1948 team, though only 3–6, is best known for its 37–7 demolishing of Case Western Reserve University. In 1949, Carroll Widdoes became the new coach of the Bobcats following a successful two-year tenure at the helm of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Widdoes led the team to a 4–4–1 record in his first year, and made noise with an opening day upset of the West Virginia Mountaineers. Widdoes' 1950, 1951, and 1952 teams all posted winning records, and were led by All-American linebacker Vince Costello. Costello would go on to a highly decorated professional career with the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.
The 1953 squad won Ohio's first ever Mid-American Conference title, while posting an impressive 6–2–1 record (5–0–1 MAC). The 1954 squad failed to disappoint as well, posting a 6–3 mark against a challenging gauntlet that featured perennial power Harvard. The 1955 Bobcats were 5-4, but in 1956 and 1957 Ohio was 2–7 and 2–6–1, respectively. With two losing seasons in a row, Widdoes resigned as coach and became Ohio's athletics director. Widdoes handpicked a successor in Bill Hess, who had spent seven seasons as an assistant to Woody Hayes and brought a similar philosophy back to Athens.
1958–1977: The Hess era
If one Bobcat coach can rival the success of Don Peden, it is certainly Bill Hess. In his 19 seasons at the helm, Hess had a 108–91–4 record, placing him second to Peden on Ohio's all-time wins list. His winning percentage is .542, and he is responsible for bringing 4 MAC titles and one National Championship to Athens. He also took the Bobcats to two bowl games, and oversaw countless winning seasons and exciting victories along the way.
The 1958 season under Hess ushered in a new level of Bobcat success. Against a grueling schedule, Ohio was 5–4, and amassed a thrilling 23–6 upset of the Louisville Cardinals. That team outscored all opponents by a combined 159-102, but was only a precursor of the impending prominence. In Hess's second season in 1959, Ohio went 7–2, finishing as runners-up to an undefeated Bowling Green Falcons squad. The following year, 1960, the Green and White enjoyed what many argue was their best season ever. Behind the powerful running of Robert Brooks and the blocking and tackling of two-way standout Dick Grecni, the Bobcats went a perfect 10–0. In the process, they claimed the National College Division championship. Grecni earned All-America honors and was one of five standouts on that team who eventually played professionally.
Two years later in 1962, Hess led Ohio to its first-ever bowl game, a matchup with West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl. Jim McKee kicked a 52-yard field goal to put the Bobcats ahead early but they trailed at the half 7–3. In the third quarter, three time all-MAC performer Skip Hoovler intercepted a pass and ran it back 91 yards for a touchdown. Ohio led 14–7 late in the game before West Texas scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to win 15–14. Hoovler was named Lineman of the Game, and his 91-yard interception still stands as a Sun Bowl record. Ironically, the Bobcats did not win the MAC in that 1962 season but did go to a bowl. The following season, Ohio won the league championship but was not invited to a bowl game.
From 1964 to 1966, Hess's teams struggled, with the low point being a 0–10 season in 1965. The 'Cats were far from a disaster, however, and in 1967, Hess would claim his third MAC championship (shared with the Toledo Rockets). That team also raised eyebrows with a 30–15 win over Kansas, runners-up in the Big Eight conference that season. It was a performance that hinted at even greater things to come.
In 1968, the most explosive Bobcat offense ever stormed its way to a 10–0 regular season, a MAC championship, and an invitation to the Tangerine Bowl. Along the way, they racked up 418 points in 11 games. That average of 37.6 points per game stood as the MAC record until 1997. The amazing pass-and-catch combination of Cleve Bryant and Todd Snyder, coupled with the sturdy running of Dave LeVeck and Bob Houmard, proved to be nearly unstoppable. The 1968 season also marked Ohio's first-ever appearance in the Top 20. On the heels of a 28–27 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons in which the Bobcats scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes, Bryant led the way to a 60–48 win against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Sports Illustrated called it an "insane circus" and it helped to land the 'Cats at 18th in the United Press International coaches' poll and 20th in the Associated Press writers' poll. Ohio would cap off the season at the Tangerine Bowl against the Richmond Spiders and to no one's surprise the contest was another shootout. Bryant threw four touchdown passes and Snyder caught 11 passes for 214 yards. But it wasn't enough, however, as Richmond prevailed for a 49–42 win.
The 1969 season saw the Bobcats begin to tail off a bit, with the team only posting a record of 5–4–1. That team did score several impressive victories, though, with a 46–6 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats and a 35–35 tie against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Hess's squads would not enjoy a .500 record again until 1973, when the 'Cats were 5–5 with a 14–12 upset of the Northwestern Wildcats. The 1974 and 1975 teams were 6–5 and 5–5–1, respectively, and built up to the successful 1976 season. In Hess's second to last year, Ohio managed a 7–4 mark, including a 6–2 record against MAC foes. Hess would also coach the 1977 team while fighting a battle with cancer, leading the team to a 1–10 record that included numerous close losses to challenging opponents.
1978–1994: A struggle to compete
The darkest era in Bobcat football history followed the passing of legend Bill Hess. Hess's successor was Bob Kappes, who lasted only one year and posted a 3-8 record. Kappes was replaced by Brian Burke, who brought the program back to a reasonable level of respectability. The 1979 and 1980 teams were both 6-5, with the Bobcats managing to beat Miami both years. The 1982 squad also managed a 6-5 mark, with a key 20-0 win over Miami and a 17-14 upset of Toledo.
Following a 1984 season that saw the 'Cats go 4-6-1, Burke was replaced by Cleve Bryant, an Ohio legend who was responsible for quarterbacking the 1967 and 1968 MAC championship teams. Bryant proved less successful as a coach, however, and led the team to a 2-9 record in his first year. He followed that up with 1-10 campaigns in 1986 and 1987, leading to his best year in 1988. That year, the 'Cats were 4-6-1, and beat Miami for the first time in 4 years. Bryant's team fell to 1-9-1 in 1989, though, and Bryant was subsequently relieved of his duties as coach of the 'Cats.
The 1990 season saw the arrival of Tom Lichtenberg to coach the Bobcats, though the results on the field were similar to those seen under Bryant. The 1990 squad was 1-9-1, and that was followed up with a 2-8-1 performance in 1991. Lichtenberg's best year was 1993, in which he led the Bobcats to a 4-7 mark and a win over Miami for the first time since 1988. However, the 1994 Bobcats were winless, going 0-11 and leading to the dismissal of Lichtenberg and his staff.
1995–2004: Resurgence and regression
In 1995, Jim Grobe took over an Ohio program that was in great need of an overhaul. He brought with him a unique offensive and defensive philosophy learned as a long-time assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy. While most of the college football world was moving towards a high-octane passing attack, Grobe took the Bobcats back to the basics of the triple option, with wildly successful results. Ohio scored over 300 points in both 1996 and 1997, going 8-3 in 1997. It was the Green and White's first winning season in 15 years. Grobe's squads were prolific offensive teams, in spite of the media's ill-conceived notion of an "antique" offense. Kareem Wilson, the Bobcats' fireplug of a quarterback, was voted the MAC's Offensive Player of the Year following a 1996 season in which he rushed for 1,072 yards and a school-record 14 touchdowns. Meanwhile, fullback Steveland Hookfin was piling up 3,972 rushing yards during the same era to become Ohio's all-time rushing leader. Wilson's total of 3,597 yards still stands as the fifth-most ever by an NCAA quarterback. His 875 career carries are the most by a signal caller in college football history.
Following the success of the 1996 and 1997 campaigns, Grobe teams fell to 5-6 in both 1998 and 1999. In 2000, however, the 'Cats went 7-4 and upset the Minnesota Golden Gophers for their first win over a Big Ten team in 27 years. Ohio finished that season with a win over Marshall, giving the 'Cats two wins over bowl teams for the first time since the 1970s. The 2000 team also set a new school record for total offense, piling up 4,599 yards. The total broke the previous mark held by the legendary 1968 squad.
After the 2000 season, however, Grobe left the 'Cats to become head coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. His appointed successor was Brian Knorr, who had been an assistant with Grobe while at Air Force and was Grobe's defensive coordinator at Ohio. Knorr proved inept as a head coach, however, and posted a 1-10 mark in 2001 despite retaining many players from the 7-4 2000 squad. Knorr was 4-8 in 2002, and regressed to 2-10 in 2003. In 2004 a slight improvement was seen with a 4-7 record and a marquee win over the Kentucky Wildcats, but it was too little too late for Knorr. He was fired after the 2004 season and subsequently replaced with former Nebraska coach Frank Solich.
2005–present: The Solich era & national recognition
Frank Solich was named the 28th football coach of the Bobcats on December 16, 2004. Prior to coming to Ohio, Solich spent many years as a part of the University of Nebraska football program, as a player, an assistant coach, and later as the head coach. Solich was head coach of the Cornhuskers from 1998-2003 where he directed Nebraska to 6 consecutive bowl games, including the national championship game in the 2002 Rose Bowl. Solich's impact on the Ohio program was immediate, as plans were put in place to renovate Ohio's football facilities and increase financial support for the football program. Also, Ohio was selected to appear on national television 6 times for the 2005 football season, a record for the program. Frank Solich's first home game as coach of Ohio was a memorable one, as Peden Stadium brought in its largest crowd ever at the time to watch the Bobcats defeat the University of Pittsburgh Panthers 16-10 in overtime.
Under the guidance of Frank Solich, the Ohio football program enjoyed a return to national prominence in 2006. On November 16, 2006 the Bobcats secured their first ever Mid-American Conference East Division title and their first football championship of any sort since 1968 with a victory over the University of Akron Zips.
The Bobcats advanced to the MAC Championship Game in Detroit, Michigan, where they were defeated by Central Michigan 31-10. On January 7, 2007, the Bobcats acted as the MAC representative in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, losing 28-7 to The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in a game nationally televised on ESPN.
The Bobcats followed up the impressive 2006 campaign with a 6-6 record in 2007, and was one of 6 bowl eligible programs that was not invited to post-season play. The Bobcats returned to the post-season in 2009, posting a 9-3 regular season record and another MAC East Championship. Ohio played in the MAC Championship Game, where they fell to Central Michigan 20-10. On December 26, 2009, the Bobcats fell 21-17 to the Marshall University Thundering Herd in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The following season, the Bobcats won their home opener vs. Wofford before dropping their next three straight. Undeterred, the Bobcats went on to win their next seven before playing at Kent State for a chance to play in the MAC Championship game at Ford Field. The Bobcats were blown out at the hands of Troy University on December 18, 2010 in the New Orleans Bowl 48-21.
After the loss in the New Orleans, Solich sent top offensive assistants Tim Albin and Gerry Gdowski to Troy, Alabama to learn the spread offense. The season prior, he had sent assistants to Nevada to learn the pistol offense. Solich planned to use the pistol and the spread, scrapping the fullback dive for the zone-read run. Needing a quarterback that was both able to throw the ball down field effectively and command the no-huddle offense a battle commenced for the starting quarterback position. Tyler Tettleton emerged as the starting quarterback over the likes of Kyle Snyder and Phil Bates, who switched his position to wide receiver.
Ohio's new spread offense proved to be explosive in the early part of the season, averaging just under 40 points per game in their first 3 contests, all of which were convincing wins. The Bobcats would go on to finish 10-4 on the season, including a 20-point, 2nd half collapse in the MAC Championship game against Northern Illinois. Despite the crushing loss, Ohio rebounded to defeat Utah State 24-23 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The win was the first bowl victory in the program's history.
Ohio kicked off their 2012 season with a prime time nationally televised win on ESPN over Penn State and won their next six contests, starting the season 7-0 for the first time in 1968. The team's enhanced national reputation prompted the President of the United States, during a visit to campus in October, 2012, to exclaim "I hear you Bobcats have quite an exciting football team and they are fun to watch...undefeated this year!" Following that win the Bobcats were ranked #25 in the Associated Press poll. The following week moved up to #23 in the AP Poll and #25 in the BCS standings, but were defeated 23-20 by the Miami University Redhawks on October 27 and dropped out of the top 25 in both the AP and BCS rankings. The Bobcats were consequently invited to the 2012 Independence Bowl and won their second straight bowl game, 45-14 over the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.
In 2013, the Bobcats started 6-2, but went 1-4 the rest of the season, including a loss in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl to East Carolina.
Present coaching staff
Since December 16, 2004, the head coach of the Ohio Bobcats has been Frank Solich. He heads a staff of nine assistant coaches, four graduate assistants, a director of football operations, and a director of player personnel:
|Name||Position||Year||Former Ohio positions held||Alma mater|
|Frank Solich||Head Coach||2005||University of Nebraska 1966|
|Tim Albin||Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs||2005||Northwestern Oklahoma State University 1989|
|Jimmy Burrow||Defensive Coordinator/Safeties||2005||University of Nebraska 1976|
|Scott Isphording||Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks||2014||Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator 2009||Hanover College 1994|
|Brian Haines||Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator||2010||Offensive Graduate Assistant 2007-2008||Marietta College 2004|
|Dwayne Dixon||Wide Receivers||2007||University of Florida 1985|
|Ron Collins||Linebackers||2011||Washington State University 1987|
|Jesse Williams||Defensive Line||2012||Sonoma State University 1988|
|Anthony Perkins||Cornerbacks||2015||University of Colorado 2012|
|Dave Johnson||Offensive Line||2014||West Virginia University 1985|
|Chris Rodgers||Director of Football Operations||2014||Operations/Recruiting Intern 2013||Ohio University 2010|
|Eric Kohr||Director of Player Personnel & HS Relations||2016||Operations/Recruiting Intern 2014||Washington and Jefferson College 2013|
Bobcat football traditions
Ohio football is rich in traditions, and Coach Solich has since his hiring made upholding tradition a cornerstone of his program. Some Ohio football traditions include:
- Rufus the Bobcat - The school mascot, a fierce yet friendly looking Bobcat that always sports an Ohio jersey with a number "1" on the back. Avowed enemy of Brutus Buckeye. The name 'Rufus' was given to the university mascot, after an alumnus, Michael A Massa, suggested that a proper name be given to the bobcat, in 2006. A university-wide name competition resulted in the popular new moniker.
- The Ohio University Marching 110 - "The Most Exciting Band in the Land" was ranked by Link Magazine in 1996 as one of the Top 10 college marching bands in the nation. They perform at every Ohio home football game and have marched in other events such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade, and numerous NFL games. The band was reborn in 1967 from its previous co-ed state, in which members wore green blazers and ties, and the women wearing the blazer with long skirts. Under Gene Thrailkill, the band became the all male Marching Men of Ohio. In 1975, women were re-admitted to the band, and remain so to this day. The band is known for playing current day music, and putting on an energetic and exciting performance every game. The band is also known for its dance breaks, one of which is performed every halftime. The band is currently under the direction of Dr. Richard Suk.
- "Stand Up and Cheer" - Ohio's fight song
- "Alma Mater, Ohio" - Ohio's alma mater song
- Salute to the Students - Following every Ohio home football game, win or lose, Ohio football players head to the student section to thank the Bobcat's most rabid fans for attending, and sing "Alma Mater, Ohio" with the Marching 110, and students present.
- The Cannon - After every Ohio score, a 19th-century style military cannon is fired. When the Bobcats enter the field, the cannon shoots off a smoke "O" that can be seen for several minutes before fading into the air.
- Rubbing the Bobcat Statue, at entrance to Peden Stadium, for good luck on the gridiron.
- The "O Zone" - The student cheering section at every Ohio home football game.
- Tail-Great Park - The park across from Peden Stadium is transformed for every home football game into "Tail-Great Park". The park features kid's games, live music, and tailgating everywhere the eye can see on gameday.
- Homecoming Parade - The annual homecoming parade at Ohio begins in downtown Athens and ends in the Peden Stadium parking lot just in time for the big game. Always on a Saturday afternoon, homecoming is always one of the highest attended games of the football season.
Ohio's archrival is Miami University. "The Battle of the Bricks" is an annual all-sports rivalry competition between the Ohio Bobcats and the Miami RedHawks athletic programs. The name "Battle of the Bricks" evolved from each school's reputation of having a campus of red brick buildings. Each varsity athletic competition in which the Bobcats and RedHawks meet including tournament play is counted as part of the years series record. At the conclusion of each academic year, the school with the most varsity wins takes the trophy back to their campus for the following year.
Ohio's regional rival is Marshall University. The annual football game between Ohio and Marshall is called "The Battle for the Bell", with a traveling bell trophy as the prize for the victor. The two schools met in the 2009 Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl in Detroit, with Marshall winning 21-17. Although Marshall had won each of the last six meetings between the schools up until the 2011 Ohio win of 44-7, Ohio leads the all-time series over the Thundering Herd (32 wins, 20 losses, and 6 ties --- record is through their 2014 regular season match-up).
|1929||Buckeye Athletic Association||Don Peden||9-0|
|1930||Buckeye Athletic Association||Don Peden||8–0–1|
|1931||Buckeye Athletic Association||Don Peden||7-1|
|1935||Buckeye Athletic Association||Don Peden||8–0|
|1936†||Buckeye Athletic Association||Don Peden||5-2-1|
|1938||Buckeye Athletic Association||Don Peden||7-2|
|1953||Mid-American Conference||Carroll Widdoes||6–2–1 (5–0–1)|
|1960||Mid-American Conference||Bill Hess||10-0 (6-0)|
|1963||Mid-American Conference||Bill Hess||6–4 (5–1)|
|1967||Mid-American Conference||Bill Hess||6–4 (5–1)|
|1968||Mid-American Conference||Bill Hess||10-1 (6-0)|
|Total conference championships||11|
† Denotes co-champions
All-time coaching records
|Head Coach||Period||W-L-T Record||Win %||Buckeye Athletic Association Championships||MAC Championships||MAC East Championships|
Source: Ohio Football Media Guide
All-time bowl games
|December 31, 1962||Sun Bowl||L||West Texas State||14||15|
|December 27, 1968||Tangerine Bowl||L||Richmond||42||49|
|January 7, 2007||GMAC Bowl||L||Southern Mississippi||7||28|
|December 26, 2009||Little Caesars Pizza Bowl||L||Marshall||17||21|
|December 18, 2010||New Orleans Bowl||L||Troy||21||48|
|December 17, 2011||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||W||Utah State||24||23|
|December 28, 2012||Independence Bowl||W||Louisiana–Monroe||45||14|
|December 23, 2013||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||L||East Carolina||20||37|
|December 19, 2015||Camellia Bowl||L||Appalachian State||29||31|
|Total||9 Bowl Games||2–7|
All-time MAC records
Updated through the 2015 season. Only includes current MAC teams.
Individual awards and achievements
Ohio's All-time players in the NFL
- Art Lewis—Tackle—1936 New York Giants; 1938-1939 Cleveland Rams
- Robert Snyder—Quarterback—1936 Pittsburgh Pirates; 1937-1938 Cleveland Rams; 1938–1941,1943 Chicago Bears
- Chet Adams—Tackle—1939-1942 Cleveland Rams; 1943 Green Bay Packers; 1946-1948 Cleveland Browns; 1949 Buffalo Bisons
- Vince Costello—Linebacker—1957-1966 Cleveland Browns; 1967-1968 New York Giants
- Robert Brooks—Back—1961 New York Titans
- Allen Miller—Linebacker—1962-1963 Washington Redskins
- Chuck Turner—Tackle—1966 Buffalo Bills
- Todd Snyder—Wide Receiver—1969-1973 Atlanta Falcons
- Dave Green—Punter—1972-1975 Cincinnati Bengals; 1976-1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Brian Bertoia-Offensive Lineman—1985 Cleveland Browns
- John Guzik—Defensive Lineman—1987 New England Patriots
- Jason Carthen—Linebacker—1993 Buffalo Bills; New England Patriots
- Dave Zastudil—Punter—2002-2005 Baltimore Ravens; 2006–2010 Cleveland Browns; 2011–2014 Arizona Cardinals
- Chip Cox—Defensive Back—2005 Detroit Lions; 2007 Washington Redskins
- Dion Byrum—Cornerback—2006-2007 Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers
- Scott Mayle—Wide Receiver—2007-2008 Buffalo Bills
- Matt Muncy—Linebacker—2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Tennessee Titans
- Voncarie Owens—Running Back—2007 New Orleans Saints
- Rudy Sylvan—Tight End—2007-2008 Detroit Lions
- T.J. Wright—Cornerback—2007 Cincinnati Bengals
- Landon Cohen—Defensive Lineman—2008–Present Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears
- Todd Koenig—Safety—2008 Cleveland Browns
- Kalvin McRae—Running Back—2008 Kansas City Chiefs
- Ryan Senser—Long-Snapper—2008 New Orleans Saints, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
- Joshua Abrams—Cornerback—2008–2009 Green Bay Packers
- Michael Mitchell—Safety—2009–2012 Oakland Raiders, 2013 Carolina Panthers, 2014–present Pittsburgh Steelers
- Taylor Price—Wide Receiver—2010–2011 New England Patriots, 2011-2013 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2014 Seattle Seahawks
- Julian Posey—Cornerback—2011 New York Jets, 2012 Miami Dolphins, 2013 Cleveland Browns
- LaVon Brazill—Wide Receiver—2012–2013 Indianapolis Colts
- Jordan Thompson—Tight End—2014–Present Detroit Lions
- T. J. Carrie-Cornerback-2014–Present Oakland Raiders
All players in bold are current NFL players.
- Tarell Basham-2013
- Gerald Moore-2009
- LaVon Brazill-2009
- Noah Keller-2009
- Matt Weller-2009
- Dion Byrum-2005
- Dave Zastudil-2001
- Mark Poindexter -1983
- Cleve Bryant—1968
- Todd Snyder—1968
- Ken Carmon—1968
- John Frick—1966
- Skip Hoovler—1963
- Bob Brooks—1960
- Dick Grecni—1960
- Vince Costello—1952
- Al Scheider—1951
- John Kerns—1946
- Danny Risaliti—1940
- Art Lewis—1935
- Lenard Sadosky—1932
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of December 1, 2015
|vs Texas State||vs Hampton||vs Howard||vs Rhode Island||vs Delaware State||vs Norfolk State||vs Florida Atlantic||at Florida Atlantic|
|at Kansas||at Purdue||at Virginia||at Pittsburgh||at Boston College||vs Cincinnati||at Iowa State||vs Iowa State|
|at Tennessee||vs Kansas||at Cincinnati||at Marshall||vs Marshall||at Louisiana–Lafayette|
|vs Gardner–Webb||at Massachusetts||vs Massachusetts||vs Louisiana–Lafayette||at Texas State||at Northwestern|
- The Athens Messenger and Herald, November 11, 1897, p. 1.
- "OHIOBOBCATS.COM - Ohio Official Athletic Site - Football". ohiobobcats.com.
- "Northern Illinois erases 20-point halftime deficit to win MAC title". ESPN.com.
- "Ohio scores in waning seconds to upend Utah State, earn 1st bowl victory". ESPN.com.
- "Ohio 34, Akron 28". ESPN.com.
- "College football notebook: Ohio breaks into AP poll for first time since ’68". Buckeye Xtra Sports.
- "Ohio bypasses tying field goal, comes up short in first loss". ESPN.com.
- "Official Football Roster - OHIOBOBCATS.COM - Ohio Official Athletic Site". ohiobobcats.com.
- "Ohio Records vs Conference". cfbdatawarehouse.com.
- "LaVon Brazill". NFL.com.
- "Ohio Bobcats Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
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